1.3 Inclusive practices
In line with Section 19 of the Children and Families Act 2014, children’s services, such as schools, must have regard to:
- the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child’s parents
- the importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions, and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions
- the need to support the child or young person, and the child’s parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood.
Putting these principles into practice for all children (and their parents) can be challenging. However, inclusion in relation to education is about increasing participation for all children and adults, and supporting schools to be responsive to diversity (Booth and Ainscow, 2011).
The Index for Inclusion (Booth and Ainscow, 2011) is a practical resource for self-evaluation and improvement, focusing on all aspects of inclusion. It is aimed at helping those working within a range of children’s services to find their own ‘next steps’ to increase the participation in play and learning of the children and young people they work with.
We’d now like you to think about how inclusive your practice is. The links below are to questionnaires to help you do this. You can choose to do this activity either from the perspective of your own practice (Option 1) or from the perspective of your school’s practice (Option 2).
Having completed the questionnaire, now reflect on your answers.
- How inclusive do you consider your practice or setting to be?
- Are there any aspects of your practice or setting that could be improved upon? If so, what could be done instead, and how could you go about making this change?
- Who would you need to speak to?
- Is there any further information you need in order to make the change?
If you answered ‘sometimes’ or ‘no’ to any of the statements in the questionnaire, you may find it helpful to discuss your responses with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in your setting and think about how your or your school’s practice could be made more inclusive.